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Charlotte's Web (2006 film)

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Charlotte's Web
Charlotte's Web 2006.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gary Winick
Produced by Jordan Kerner
Screenplay by
Based on Charlotte's Web
by E. B. White
Starring
Narrated by Sam Shepard
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Seamus McGarvey
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • December 7, 2006 (2006-12-07) (Australia)
  • December 15, 2006 (2006-12-15) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $85 million[1]
Box office $144.9 million

Charlotte's Web is a 2006 American live-action feature film based on the 1952 children's novel of the same name by E. B. White. It was directed by Gary Winick and produced by Paramount Pictures, Walden Media, The K Entertainment Company, and Nickelodeon Movies. The screenplay is by Susannah Grant and Karey Kirkpatrick, based on White's book.

It is the second film adaptation of White's book, preceded by a 1973 cel-animated version produced by Hanna-Barbera for Paramount Pictures.

Plot

One spring, on a farm in Somerset County, Maine, Fern Arable finds her father John about to kill the runt of a litter of newborn pigs. She successfully begs her father to spare the piglet's life. John gives the piglet to Fern, and she nurtures the piglet lovingly, naming him Wilbur. To her regret, when Wilbur has matured, Fern is forced to take him to her uncle, Homer Zuckerman, in whose barnyard he is left yearning for companionship but is snubbed by other barn animals, until befriended by Charlotte, a spider who lives in the space above Wilbur's sty in the Zuckermans' barn. When the other animals reveal to Wilbur that he will be prepared for dinner in due time, Charlotte promises to hatch a plan guaranteed to spare Wilbur's life.

With the help of the other barn animals, including a comedic rat named Templeton, Charlotte convinces the Zuckerman family that Wilbur is actually quite special, by spelling out descriptions of him in her web: "Some pig", "Terrific", "Radiant", and "Humble". She gives her full name to be Charlotte A. Cavatica, revealing her to be a barn spider, an orb-weaver spider with the scientific name Araneus cavaticus.

The Arables, Zuckermans, Wilbur, Charlotte, and Templeton go to a fair, where Wilbur is entered in a contest. While there, Charlotte produces an egg sac containing her unborn offspring, and Wilbur, despite winning no prizes, is later celebrated by the fair's staff and visitors (thus made too prestigious alive, to justify killing him). Exhausted from laying eggs, Charlotte cannot return home because she is dying. Wilbur bids an emotional fairwell to her as she remains at the fair and dies shortly after Wilbur's departure, but Wilbur manages to take her egg sac home, where hundreds of offspring emerge. Most of the young spiders soon leave, but three, named Joy, Aranea, and Nellie, stay and become Wilbur's friends.

Cast

Live-action actors

Voice actors

Production

Charlotte's Web was produced without any involvement from E. B. White's estate.[2] It was the first film based on a book by E. B. White since 2001's The Trumpet of the Swan. Paramount had distributed the film as a result of its acquisition of DreamWorks, whose animation division became its own company in late 2004.

Major shooting was completed in May 2006. It was filmed on location in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria and suburbs in Melbourne, Australia. The fair scene in the story was filmed in Heidelberg in Melbourne, Australia at Heidelberg West Football Club's football ground. The school scenes were filmed at Spotswood Primary School.

Visual effects are by Rising Sun Pictures, Fuel International, Proof, Rhythm and Hues Studios, Digital Pictures Iloura and Tippett Studio. The visual effects supervisor for the film as a whole was John Berton, who noted that a live-action version of Charlotte's Web has become much more practical in recent years due to advances in technology.[3] Winick "was adamant" that Charlotte and Templeton (the film's two entirely computer-generated characters) should be realistic and not stylized, although they did give Charlotte almond-shaped eyes.[4] John Dietz, visual effects supervisor for Rising Sun Pictures, notes that there was a debate over whether to give her a mouth and that in the end, they decided to have her chelicerae move in what he describes as being almost like a veil as if there were a mouth behind it.[5]

Release

The film was at one time intended for a June 2006 release, but was pushed back to December 2006 to avoid competition with two other films from Nickelodeon Movies - Nacho Libre and Barnyard - as well as Over the Hedge and Cars among other films.[citation needed]

Home media

Charlotte's Web was released on DVD on April 3, 2007, in the United States and Canada and May 28 in the United Kingdom. It was released on Blu-ray on March 29, 2011, along with The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. About 10 years later, the film was re-released on DVD on January 24, 2017.

Reception

Reviews were generally positive, especially with respect to Dakota Fanning's portrayal of Fern. The film currently holds a 78% "Certified Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes.[6] Michael Medved gave Charlotte's Web three and a half stars (out of four) calling it "irresistible" and "glowing with goodness". Medved also said that Dakota Fanning's performance was "delightfully spunky".[7] Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman complains that the film is "a bit noisy" but applauds the director for putting "the book, in all its glorious tall-tale reverence, right up on screen." He goes on to say that "What hooks you from the start is Dakota Fanning's unfussy passion as Fern."[8]

Colm Andrew of the Manx Independent gave the film 6/10, saying that the main problem was "the ultra-cute characterisation of Wilbur, resulting in half the audience rooting for his demise" although overall it was "a competent retelling of a classic story that won't offend".[9]

The film was awarded a 2006 Critics' Choice Award for Best Family Film in the live-action category,[10] and Fanning won the Blimp Award for Favorite Movie Actress at the 2007 Kids' Choice Awards.

The film debuted in third place at the box office with only $11 million. The film performed very well after spending 14 weeks in theaters for a total of $82 million, $61 million elsewhere, for a total of $144 million before closing on March 22, 2007.[1]

Soundtrack

Charlotte's Web
Charlotte's Web Soundtrack.jpg
Film score by Danny Elfman
Released 2006
Danny Elfman chronology
Serenada Schizophrana
(2006)Serenada Schizophrana2006
Charlotte's Web
(2006)
Standard Operating Procedure
(2008)Standard Operating Procedure2008

Charlotte's Web: Music from the Motion Picture was released by Sony Classical on December 5, 2006. In addition to the instrumental score by Danny Elfman, the soundtrack includes a song named "Ordinary Miracle" by Sarah McLachlan, which she herself performed during the opening ceremonies of her hometown Vancouver Winter Olympics. A CD compilation of "Music Inspired by the Motion Picture" was issued on December 12, 2006.

Video game

A video game based on the movie, developed by Backbone Entertainment and published by Sega, was released on December 12, 2006, for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and PC.

Another game based on the film was released in Europe for the PlayStation 2 by Blast Entertainment on April 5, 2007.[11]

References

  1. ^ a b "Charlotte's Web (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ "E.B. White's Web". : Lifestyle section of Bangor Metro. Webster-Atlantic. May 10, 2007. Archived from the original on July 23, 2008. Retrieved October 18, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Filming in "Radiant" Victoria Australia". : About the Film. Charlotte's Web Movie official site. Walden Media / Paramount Pictures. December 15, 2006. Archived from the original (Macromedia Flash) on December 19, 2006. Retrieved December 18, 2006. 
  4. ^ Doyle, Audrey (December 2006). "Web Design: A realistic CG Charlotte and Templeton act alongside a real barnyard cast in the latest iteration of Charlotte's Web". Computer Graphics World. 29: 26–32. 
  5. ^ Peszko, J. Paul (December 19, 2006). "Spinning A New Charlotte's Web". VFXWorld. AWN, Inc. Retrieved July 30, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Charlotte's Web (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ Medved, Michael (December 15, 2006). "Charlotte's Web". Michael Medved's Eye on Entertainment. MichaelMedved.com. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2006. 
  8. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (December 15, 2006). "Movie Review: Charlotte's Web". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 18, 2006. 
  9. ^ Review by Colm Andrew, IOM Today
  10. ^ "Charlotte's Web". Variety. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008. Retrieved July 27, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Charlotte's Web Box Shot for PlayStation 2 - GameFAQs". www.gamefaqs.com. Retrieved July 13, 2016. 

External links